I made Alan promise me that we would go horseback riding on the beach sometime in the next few years, not when I’m old and decrepit. He said, “I’ll take you horseback riding on the beach in Oregon.” It was a lifetime dream of mine to gallop along the beach on a horse, wearing, of course, a white gauzy dress, with my red hair flying behind me, like a romantic Joan of Arc. When I realized that you had to wear pants and closed shoes, and that we would not be galloping, it made the decision easier.
The first day that we were on the cruise, the cruise director gave us an overview of some of the more popular excursions. The high adrenaline zip line looked really scary (read super fun) to both of us, so we trashed the horseback ride. The guy said it was so terrifying that he never went again. That is absolutely and utterly ridiculous, seeing how gentle and relaxing it was.
So we drove to the rain forest and geared up. A woman strapped a lot of gear onto me, and a helmet. I left my cameras on the ship, thinking they would fall off. Oh, how I wish I had taken the movie camera, because I could have filmed zooming through the air over the beautiful tropical rain forest. I wouldn’t have even needed a wrist strap, since it was so tranquil. The only part that made you want to scream was the last bit, which was a free fall. That was high adrenaline for sure, but it lasted only one second.
I must pause here to explain that for Alan’s 30th birthday before we had kids, my present to him was for us to go sky diving. I knew that after I had kids, I would never do it. So we went to an all day thing with lots and lots of instructions and lots and lots of pages where you signed away your life. So bla bla bla, we were given instructions we didn’t even need because we were jumping tandem, which meant that we had an instructor strapped to our back. So it’s not like we had to pull the chute or anything. All we needed was one sentence. But they never told us this crucial sentence. It was the only thing that mattered.
When I was on the airplane with the open door, I boldly jumped out of the airplane on the count of three. I was lying face down on thin air, with the ground rushing up at me. But I couldn’t enjoy the jump whatsoever. Why? Because my mouth was open, and the air was entering my lungs at an alarming rate. It was like a huge fan had turned itself on. It was worse than when I was on the Isle of Wight in England, where the wind nearly threw me off the cliff, and I had to hug the ground, no, claw the ground, to keep from falling off the cliff.
This was worse. I had no way to breathe. Afterwards I thought, “Why didn’t someone say the one sentence that mattered?”
“Shut your mouth.” — This was the only instruction that I needed.
Eventually there was a pop, and the chute came out, and a painful iron contraption cut into my thighs. But at least the suffocation was over. We drifted calmly through the sky, almost like the hot air balloon ride, but with the metal cutting into my flesh. Not happy. So why didn’t I blog about sky diving after blogging daily for two years? Because I didn’t care to relive the stupid experience.
But I needed to tell you that so that you can use the sky diving experience as a comparison to the zip line. I felt completely and utterly safe. I did not feel like I was going to fall. If I let go completely from the zip line, the contraption was still attached to the main wire, so there’s no way I would fall. So it was fun and relaxing. It was a wonderful day, absolutely gorgeous in the sunshine. I just wish I’d taken my video camera; that’s all.
(Next up, a jeep ride that nearly crashed several times, and an embarrassing karaoke song. Don’t miss part 9 of our amazing Bahamas trip story…)Tweet